Posts

Grey Ford Fiesta Vignale

Grey named Britain’s favourite new car colour – again

Grey Ford Fiesta Vignale

For the second year running, grey paint was chosen by more new car buyers than any other in 2019 as our seemingly sombre mood for car colour choice continued. 

Black and white followed grey, and the three colours accounted for over 6 in 10 new car sales.

You have to go back to 2010 to see a primary colour make the top three new car colour rankings.

Grey actually boosted its market share thanks to a 5.3 percent increase in sales – a whopping 521,273 new cars were ordered in grey last year, or 1 in 5 of all car sales.

Ford Fiesta Vignale

Our preference for grey comes at the expense of silver, reveal the figures from the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT). Silver cars took their lowest total sales for 20 years, with just over 201k sales.

It’s quite the shift away from silver, a colour that’s been in the top three 16 years out of the past 20.

Scotland, however, continued its preference for silver, with the market north of the border placing the colour top overall.

Black and white choice

Looking at individual car categories, buyers made some interesting choices. For supermini drivers, the most popular new car colour was white.

In contrast, for executive and luxury car buyers, the top colour was black.

Diesel and petrol car buyers? They preferred grey – but for electric car customers, their top choice was again white.

The least popular colours (or, if you prefer, the most exclusive) were maroon, cream and pink. Even collectively, they comprised less than 1 percent of all new car sales.

UK top five car colours 1999-2019

As for blue cars, a colour that was top of the charts 20 years ago, it’s down in fourth place now, taking 16.7 percent of new car sales.

Red dropped again, with a market share of less than 10 percent, and green continues to be well out of favour too, with just 16,718 new cars ordered in the colour.

It seems we want our new cars to be green overall – just not actually painted green.

Ford Transit Custom Sportvan

Ford Transit Custom VAN is Britain’s third best-selling vehicle

Ford Transit Custom Sportvan

The Ford Transit Custom didn’t just outsell every other van in Britain, but also proved more popular than all but just two brand new cars in 2019.

With registrations of 57,494, the Transit Custom was beaten only by the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf – trailing the VW by just 1,500 units.

The Transit beat another Ford, the Focus, into third place in the UK sales chart.

Ford’s perennially popular Transit has now been Britain’s best-selling commercial vehicle for 54 years running.

The Ford brand has topped the passenger car table for 43 consecutive years, too.

“We thank our customers for again showing that they have confidence in Ford and our dealer network across the UK,” said Ford of Britain MD, Andy Barratt.

“We will work hard to continue to build on their trust as we launch an unprecedented range of 14 electrified vehicles in the UK by the end of 2020.”

Ford Ecosport

Other impressive stats from Ford include the ageing EcoSport small SUV (pictured above) achieving its best year yet in the UK, with 25,451 new cars sold.

This bodes well for the imminent launch of the much more stylish Ford Puma small SUV.

The brand also said that high-series, more expensive Fords – such as Titanium, Vignale, ST-Line and ST – accounted for 81 percent of new car sales in 2019.

It may have launched a new £15,995 Fiesta Trend variant in 2019, but it seems buyers are more eager to spend more on a posher version…

UK top five best sellers in 2019

1 Ford Fiesta: 77,833

2 Volkswagen Golf: 58,994

3 Ford Transit: 57,494

4 Ford Focus: 56,619

5 Vauxhall Corsa: 54,239

Post-Brexit car market to be ‘unleashed’ in 2020

Car market to be 'unleashed' in 2020

2020 could be the year the UK car market gets back on track, according to new research. An unlocked parliament and an end to Brexit uncertainty is said to be inspiring more confidence in car buyers. Sales have been stalling over the past three years since the referendum. Indeed, car sales fell for the third year in a row in 2019.

The research by BuyaCar has polled more than 3,000 people on their car-buying intentions, past present and future. One in six (15 percent) said that an end to the gridlocked parliament of the last few months and years means they’ll be more likely to take the plunge in 2020 and beyond.

For those deeper into the process of finding a car, who are looking at specific models, it’s up to 24 percent (almost one in four). In general, the closer car buyers are to taking the plunge, the more confident the landslide election result has made them about going ahead.

Car market to be 'unleashed' in 2020

Compare that to March last year. Car shoppers told BuyaCar that Brexit uncertainty was at the top of the list of reasons why they have delayed buying a car for two years or more. On the face of it, the car market forecast is brighter for 2020, though Brexit still looms incomplete.

BuyaCar editor Christopher Lloyd says that the research is backed up by search traffic on its platform. An increase in traffic in between Christmas and New Year this year plays a drop-off in 2018.

Car market to be 'unleashed' in 2020

“As we have been reminded almost daily in the news over the past couple of years, Brexit uncertainty has been deeply damaging to consumer and business confidence,” Lloyd said.

“So this research suggests that a lot of pent-up demand is about to be unleashed now that the question has been decisively settled. The car industry has had a torrid time since the 2016 referendum and although our own sales of used cars have continued to grow, the new car market in particular has been consistently falling. From this research it seems clear that, wherever you stand on Brexit, an end to uncertainty may be just the thing to unleash buyers back into the market.“

Ford Fiesta is Britain's best-selling car of 2019

Ford Fiesta named Britain’s best-selling car of 2019

Ford Fiesta is Britain's best-selling car of 2019

The Ford Fiesta has once again been named Britain’s favourite new car of the year after topping the sales charts with ease in 2019.

Almost 78,000 new Ford Fiestas were registered last year, easily clearing the 58,994 total of the car in second place, the Volkswagen Golf.

But it was a surprisingly tight battle for the runners-up spot, with the Ford Focus coming close in third with 56,619 registrations.

The Vauxhall Corsa finished the year on 54k units, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class was on 53k, and the Nissan Qashqai ended on 52k new cars sold.

Ford’s long-running Kuga still performed well in seventh place, just a few hundred units ahead of the Mini, with the Volkswagen Polo and Kia Sportage rounding out the top 10.

The arrival of several significant all-new models in 2020 – the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Kuga – is expected to shake things up this year.

Although the UK new car market declined overall in 2020, Britain remains Europe’s second-largest, behind Germany. It is also, says the Society of Motoring Manufactures and Traders (SMMT), one of the most diverse, with 350 different models on offer.

Almost 90 new models are set to arrive in 2020, including 23 zero-emission cars and 11 plug-in hybrids, says the SMMT.

Whether any of them can budge the Ford Fiesta from the number one spot – success that’s made it Britain’s best-selling car of all time – remains to be seen…

Britain’s best-selling cars in 2019

1 Ford Fiesta: 77,833

2 Volkswagen Golf: 58,994

3 Ford Focus: 56,619

4 Vauxhall Corsa: 54,239

5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 53,724

6 Nissan Qashqai: 52,532

7 Ford Kuga: 41,671

8 Mini: 41,188

9 Volkswagen Polo: 37,453

10 Kia Sportage: 34,502

Renault UK new car dealer

New car sales down for THIRD year running 2019

Renault UK new car dealer

New car registrations fell for the third year running in 2019, with the market declining 2.4 percent to a seven-year low.

Official figures show 2.3 million cars were sold last year, compared to 2016’s all-time high of 2.69 million.

However, adds the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the 2019 total is still ahead of the UK’s 10-year average.

Every new car sector apart from two experienced sales declines. The exceptions were the dual purpose (SUV) sector, up 12 percent, and the specialist sports sector, up an eye-catching 19.2 percent.

The latter is due to the long-awaited arrival of the Tesla Model 3, which the SMMT classifies as a specialist sports vehicle.

The best-selling car types in the UK were superminis and family cars, which took 57 percent of new car sales – but both were down, by 6 percent and 4 percent respectively. 

Electric up, diesel down

Alternative fuel vehicles – that’s electric cars and hybrids – grew 20.6 percent, to take an overall market share of 7.4 percent. Hybrids made up 4.6 percent of that total, with electric cars on 1.6 percent.

Battery electric vehicles, adds the SMMT, overtook plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) for the first time. It blames this on the government’s controversial decision to pull PHEVs from the Plug-in Car Grant.

The launch of at least 23 new electric cars in 2020 is likely to continue the growth of EVs. 

And diesel? Sales fell a whopping 21.8 percent, giving it a 25 percent market share. This is the lowest diesel share since 2003, and means diesel car sales have basically halved since the peak three years ago.

Diesel new car sales have now fallen for 33 months running.

The decline of diesel is partly behind the worrying rise in new car CO2. It too has risen for the third consecutive year, to an average of 127.9 g/km.

SMMT chief executive said the introduction of the new WLTP test was the main reason for this (cars had to be retested to the tougher standards), although buyers shifting from hatchbacks to SUVs was also pushing up new car CO2.

By the end of 2020, EU legislation requires every car brand’s average new car CO2 to be no greater than 95 g/km, which is why the increase in new car emissions is so alarming to industry-watchers.

As for 2020, the SMMT expects new car registrations to fall again, due to an ongoing lack of consumer confidence.

The trade organisation expects 2.2 million cars to be sold this year, a fall of 1.6 percent on 2019’s figures. However, Hawes did admit this figure was modified upwards from an earlier prediction of 2.2 million, following December’s General Election.

If consumer confidence shows further positive improvement in 2020, the prediction could be modified once again. Whether or not Britain posts its fourth straight year of falling new car sales depends on it…

Mercedes-Benz CLA

All show: North East car buyers are the flashiest in the UK

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Who in Britain is the proudest when it comes to cars? Londoners? Nope. Essex boys (and girls)? Not even close. The flashiest of us car owners in the UK, in fact, reside in the North East, according to a 2,000-person survey commissioned by GAP insurance provider, InsureTheGap.com.

It figures that a Guaranteed Asset Protection provider would endeavour to uncover where in the UK swaps out cars for new models the most frequently. And the survey says a lot about proud North-Eastern car culture and what their transport means to them.

The headline figure is that 41 percent of North-Eastern car buyers get a new car every two to four years, compared to the national average of 28 percent. One in four buyers choose new instead of used, because of the ‘new car’ look and feel, never mind the added cost.

Compare that to a mere 19 percent of people from across the UK that have the same sentiments. That could explain why car owners in the North East are also the least likely of any in the UK to own their car outright, and are in the top three regions for people who say their car payment is in their top three monthly expenses.

As a nation, it seems we’re rather keen on cars as a status symbol. While 27 percent of people in the UK think a car should say something about who you are and what you’ve done with yourself, one in three (36 percent) of North-Eastern folks take the same view.

Range-Rover Evoque

Only 14 percent of North-Eastern drivers would accept a hand-me-down car, compared to a national average of 21 percent. They’re also the least likely to accept that old “as long as it gets me from A to B” sentiment – 32 percent versus 42 percent across the UK.

When asked if picking a car is an affair of the heart rather than a common sense purchase, 24 percent said yes, versus the national average of 16 percent.

Given cars are more objects of desire to the North-Eastern folk, it comes as no surprise that they are the least attracted to more environmentally friendly cars. 27 percent indicated a willingness to drive an electric car, looking titchy compared to the national average of 37 percent and the whopping 49 percent London figure.

“Throughout our survey, the North East consistently came out as the region where people take most pride in their cars with very few people prepared to compromise when it comes to buying a new car, or “making-do” with a hand-me-down“, said Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Office at InsuretheGap.com

“Interestingly, it was also the region that was least likely to be prepared to move away from traditional petrol and diesel cars. The region appears to be every car salesperson’s dream.”

Read more:

Ford Mustang

Official: Ford Mustang is Britain’s favourite performance car

Ford MustangThe Ford Mustang is the most popular high-performance sports coupe on sale in Britain, with year-to-date sales 60% ahead of its nearest rival.

Classed as sports cars boasting 250hp or more, the high performance car sales chart sees Ford beating the Jaguar F-Type, BMW 6 Series and Porsche 911.

Surprisingly, the perennially-popular Audi TT is down in sixth place, behind the Porsche Cayman. That’s probably because most TT sales have less than 250hp: not a problem for the Mustang, which produces 314hp even in ‘standard’ 2.3-litre Ecoboost guise.

The 5.0-litre V8 GT produces 418hp.

70% of all UK Mustang sales are of the V8 engine: understandable, given a list price from £34,995 (the Jaguar F-Type starts at £51,775). The Ecoboost is priced from £30,995, or the same price as a Ford Focus RS.

Since introducing the Mustang to Europe in autumn 2015, Ford has sold 19,500 Mustangs across the region: 4,000 of them are in Britain alone.

Top 10 high performance cars: Jan – June 2016

1: Ford Mustang (2,317 sales)

2: Jaguar F-Type (1,446 sales)

3: BMW 6 Series (1,367 sales)

4: Porsche 911 (1,315 sales)

5: Porsche Cayman (787 sales)

6: Audi TT (778 sales)

7: Porsche Boxster (526 sales)

8: Mercedes-Benz SL (489 sales)

9: Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman (482 sales)

10: BMW i8 (382 sales)

A UK-built Vauxhall Astra

New car sales grow just 0.1% in July

A UK-built Vauxhall AstraThe continued growth of new car registrations in 2016 slowed in July with the market rising by just 0.1% – and it’s private buyers who are starting to stay away from the showrooms.

Indeed, private new car registrations actually declined in July 2016, by a hefty 6.1%. It was growth of 5% in the fleet car sector that helped ensure the market wasn’t down overall.

It means year-to-date growth in 2016 is down to 2.8% with just under 1.6 million new cars registered so far.

“After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence.” This is perhaps in reference to the post-Brexit slump some say is starting to emerge.

All eyes will thus be on the Chancellor of the Exchequer today when he reveals the decisions of the latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting: a cut in interest rates to kickstart the economy is mooted.

Hawes is keen to keep car buyers’ confidence up. “With low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers.

July 2016: new car best-sellers

As ever, the Ford Fiesta led the market in July 2016, by the well-established very clear margin. But it was Vauxhall that may be celebrating with most enthusiasm; the Corsa was second and the new Astra is at last starting to make in-roads, with a third-place position.

The British-built Astra beat the Ford Focus into fourth position, with the also-British-built Nissan Qashqai in fifth.

Volkswagen slipped back from the highs of previous months with the Golf in sixth and Polo in seventh, then it was the third Vauxhall in the top 10, the Mokka, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and C-Class.

In total, 178,523 new cars were registered in July 2016.

1: Ford Fiesta

2: Vauxhall Corsa

3: Vauxhall Astra

4: Ford Focus

5: Nissan Qashqai

6: Volkswagen Golf

7: Volkswagen Polo

8: Vauxhall Mokka

9: Mercedes-Benz A-Class

10: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mitsubishi car dealer

75 per cent of private new car buyers now use finance

Mitsubishi car dealerAlmost 900,000 private new car buyers in the UK are paying for their motor on a dealer finance plan rather than stumping cash up front.

The 897,593 finance deals for 2014, revealed by the Finance & Leasing Association, is a new record for dealer finance in the UK and is a 13 per cent full-year rise over 2013.

It means dealer finance was used to secure 76.1 per cent of all new cars sold to private buyers last year.

Geraldine Kilkelly, FLA’s head of research and chief economist, said: “There has been strong growth in consumer motor finance provided through dealerships by FLA members over the last couple of years.

“Our most recent industry confidence survey suggests that growth is likely to continue in 2015, but at a slower rate than in 2014.”

Dealers also financed 1.05 million used cars in 2014, itself a 14 per cent rise on 2013.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf sales surprise in April 2016 new car registrations

Volkswagen GolfThe UK new car market grew 2% in April 2016, continuing its ongoing upward trajectory – but it’s the Volkswagen Golf’s impressive number two position in the registrations chart that’s the real surprise.

Pipping the Ford Focus, Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Astra, the Golf’s strong performance comes despite the ongoing ‘dieselgate’ emissions crisis – and runs contrary to recent reports that the public has lost faith in the Volkswagen brand.

A strong April means the Golf is now in a solid fourth place in the year-to-date new car registrations table, closing in on the Ford Focus. The Volkswagen Polo remains sixth, with the Audi A3 in eighth making it three Volkswagen Group cars in the top 10.

If the emissions crisis is having an impact anywhere, it’s certainly not on the new car market for Volkswagen…

Of course, the Ford Fiesta remains the clear new car sales leader, more than 2,000 cars ahead of the Golf in April alone. Year to date, more than 44,000 Fiestas have been registered. Next best is the Vauxhall Corsa, way back on fewer than 29,000.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “After such a strong March, April’s steadier performance was to be anticipated, and is in line with our expectations for the year.

“Consumer confidence remains high as buyers continue to capitalise on attractive finance deals, although this could be affected by political and economic uncertainty in the coming months.”

Top 10 new car registrations – April 2016

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Volkswagen Golf
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Nissan Qashqai
  5. Vauxhall Astra
  6. Volkswagen Polo
  7. Vauxhall Corsa
  8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  9. Kia Sportage
  10. Audi A3